Publisher: Viz Media
Publication Date: March 1, 2016
This volume picks up immediately where the previous left us. Puri-Puri Prisoner (who I have a hard time believing is actually a hero) decides he must avenge his fellow prisoners because they were cute. The Deep Sea King is ready to take on the angry Puri-Puri and is actually surprised that he can handle fighting him. Puri eventually realizes he is no match in his current form and does a Hulk-like transformation into larger, more muscular, and more nude version of himself. It begins to rain, which happens to increase the Deep Sea King’s strength. Puri still no match for the Deep Sea King and quickly succumbs to defeat. A Demon-Level crisis is declared and the ordinary citizens of the city are piled into an evacuation shelter that is supposed to be indestructible. It continues to rain, allowing Deep Sea King’s powers to increase. Heros from the higher classes take him on with poor results. It’s as if each hero is running into certain death. Finally, it’s up to Saitama to save the day, but can he defeat such a powerful monster?
This volume of One Punch Man has many of the same elements of the previous volumes – making it entirely understandable that people complain the series is redundant and a little boring. At times I do find myself a little bored; however, there were sections in this volume that were interesting enough to keep me going. Puri-Puri Prisoner has grown on me and is a character this series badly needs. Despite being incredibly gay, living in a prison(his own choice), and having a super-power that requires him to fight nude, he’s very funny. Puri is infinitely more interesting than the slew of other heroes we barely get a chance to know. We are also introduced to Mumen Rider, the “bicyclist for justice.” He’s a class C hero who I expected to disappear quickly, but he actually gets a lot of mileage in this volume and manages to hold back the Deep Sea King long enough for Saitama to stroll in fashionably late. I expect that we will be seeing this hero again.
Saitama has changed a little in this volume – he still seems to wander aimlessly, but his approach toward the public has changed. This is an important part of the ending that I won’t reveal, but it certainly shows that Saitama is becoming a dynamic character. He isn’t only obsessed with being a ‘hero for fun’ and saving money on groceries. I bet it will take a few more volumes before Saitama is really seen as a hero, if he ever gets hero treatment. It seems like the author plans to take the whole ‘late to the fight to beat the weakened monster and steal credit’ for the long haul. I just hope I don’t get bored of that before the author moves on to a new idea.
Despite the criticism One Punch Man is beginning to attract, I don’t think it is a bad series to follow. There are definitely funny moments and I laugh-out-loud when I’m reading this on the subway. Definitely add this to your list of manga to read.
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**This item was provided for review.